Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford welcomes long stay in Atlanta as extension negotiations begin

Hawks, Horford begin negotiations on contract extension.

Hawks, Horford begin negotiations on contract extension.

Over the next few weeks the Hawks and Al Horford’s agent, Arn Tellem, will work on the terms of a contract extension beyond 2010-11 for Atlanta’s All-Star center.

That’s the money side of the equation, and Horford said negotiations are in the early stages. After considering the other factors that play into his decision, Horford said he would like to stay in Atlanta for the long term.

“How do you see yourself with the team?” Horford said about his thought process. “Do you think the team is going the right way? Obviously, you have to factor in do you like the city you are in, [do you] get along with the guys [teammates]?

“All those things favor me because I feel like we are in a good position. We’ve been playing together. This is my fourth year with the team, and I love the city of Atlanta. So I am just waiting to see what happens with this whole thing.”

Horford is set to make $5.4 million in 2010-11, the final year of his rookie-scale contract. The Hawks have until Nov. 1 to come to terms with Horford on an extension that starts in 2011-12 and can be for up to five years and about $82 million under current CBA rules.

If the sides don’t reach an agreement by then, Horford would become a restricted free agent next summer if the Hawks extend a one-year, $7.1 million qualifying offer by June 30. The Hawks would then retain the right to match any offer sheets signed by Horford.

Hawks GM Rick Sund, citing his policy of not speaking publicly about players’ contracts, declined to comment on negotiations with Horford.

Horford, 24, was the No. 3 overall selection as an early-entrant prospect out of Florida in the 2007 draft. Eastern Conference coaches voted him to his first All-Star team last season and new Hawks coach Larry Drew recently named Horford as a tri-captain along with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

This summer Horford, who is undersized by NBA center standards at 6-10 and 245 pounds, said the Hawks needed to add an “impact” center to be a contender in the East. The Hawks ended up signing free agent centers Jason Collins and Etan Thomas to veteran’s minimum contracts.

But Horford said he’s looking forward to Drew’s plan of playing him at power forward alongside Zaza Pachulia, Collins or Thomas.

“I think with Coach Drew’s new mindset, he plans to play me more at the four, which is encouraging to me,” Horford said. “I am happy about that. Obviously I still would like to play center, but if I can spend more time at the four, that would be great.”

MC

175 comments Add your comment

Jae Evolution

October 3rd, 2010
3:50 pm

Sign Al, then work on signing Jamal or trading him.

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
4:05 pm

Man, if Al would give us a hometown discount, it would be great. Maybe a 11.5m, 12.5m the next year etc. Hope we don’t have to max him, but he’s very close to being worth it by today’s NBA standards. As of now – his max is 13.3m to start and 10.5% increases per year. Rudy Gay money basically.

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
4:06 pm

I love Jamal, but I am of the opinion, the guy has a 10.8m dollar contract, play hard, and good things will happen. But unless he takes a big paycut, he probably won’t be in ATL.

dstdeelite

October 3rd, 2010
4:18 pm

It seems like the AJC is being a little messy. lol…On Saturday there’s a story written about how they won’t offer an extension to JC. The next day they write about them trying to get one done with Al. SMH…lol!!

O'Brien

October 3rd, 2010
4:19 pm

Steve W,

I’m thinking 5 years, $65 – $70 mil is the minimum starting point it would take to sign Al. And why should Al take a hometown discount when JJ did not?

As a Hawks fan, I would love to see Al take a discount, but I wont be surprised if his agent is looking for the max 5 years, $82 mil.

Sara

October 3rd, 2010
4:29 pm

Good to hear the extension talk has begun. Goodwin Sports still has not taken Al off their client list –> http://www.goodwinsports.com/bio_horford.html.

Michael Cunningham

October 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

@dstdeelite: “It seems like the AJC is being a little messy. lol…On Saturday there’s a story written about how they won’t offer an extension to JC. The next day they write about them trying to get one done with Al. SMH…lol!!”

ha . . . the AJC is not in charge of Hawks contract extensions. if they were, i would publicly demand to be first in line for one and ask to be traded if they did not comply. but with that would be kind of pointless since i don’t have a contract to begin with, haha.

i_am_soulstar

October 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

5 years, 65 million is fair, but that’s not how Arn “Soulja Boy” Tellum will sell it.

Still, with fear of the unknown (CBA), the Hawks should have the upper hand in negotiations.

Glad to know they’re working on it.

I Heart Atlanta

October 3rd, 2010
4:53 pm

Ran into AL at the CNN center today on my way to the Falcons game.

ant banks

October 3rd, 2010
5:01 pm

MC,
what does the hawks financial situation look like? can we sign AL and crawford without going over the cap?

drmaryb (*_*)

October 3rd, 2010
5:07 pm

truthspitter

October 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

David Lee got 6 years $80 million. Al Horford is worth 5 year 65 million atleast. I am thinking he will get more like 5 year $70 million. Either way he is going to make 11 or $12 million atleast next year. That’s gonna put us at 61 or $62 million with just 8 players signed meaning we will need atleast 5 more players to meet minimum needed and have about $8.5 million to sign them. If we draft a good 1st rounder that will be 9 players. So, we will be looking at signing 4 players with a $7 million to spend. Meaning there is no way to re-sign Jamal unless someone is traded and I just don’t see that. So, Jamal has to be traded and hopefully they can push Marvin or Zaza off on someone else with Jamal because Bibby’s contract comes off next year so it’s not so bad. Look for Jamal to be traded.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

Bust a Cap in It!

At some point this team needs to go over the cap.
All legitimate contenders and winners do.

So, Get Over It!

ant banks

October 3rd, 2010
5:13 pm

TRUTHSPITTER,

thanks. great info. i jus’ hope that jamal is professional enough to bust his arse for us like he did last year. i hope that we trade him sooner than later.

ant banks

October 3rd, 2010
5:15 pm

DRMARYB,

i agree wit’chu. i have heard that teams make money by goin’ DEEP into the playoffs. maybe if we go over the cap, asg can make up the difference

Michael Cunningham

October 3rd, 2010
5:15 pm

@ ant banks: “MC, what does the hawks financial situation look like? can we sign AL and crawford without going over the cap?”

they have about $50 million committed to salaries in 2011-12. when you say “cap” do you mean the tax threshold? because they are over the cap now and figure to be next year, too, like most NBA teams. can’t say right now if a deal for Crawford would put them over the tax because a) can’t know how much a Crawford extension would cost and b) no way to tell what the tax threshold will be next season or even what the basic structure of the CBA will look like.

The Truth

October 3rd, 2010
5:15 pm

HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Al (a captain) is seeking a long term deal with apparent dreams of being a permanent PF with occasional spot duty at the 5. But guess what? Josh Smith (a captain) plays the PF position and would be miss-fitted at the 3. This problem seems unsolvable as both players are essential parts of the core. I’m sure this will be a talking point for Al’s agent during negotiations. Since Al has publicly become more vocal about playing more PF, maybe dancing with Etan during practice has changed Al’s attitude about permanent duties at the center position. It is one thing to ask Al to play the center position temporarily until the Hawks acquire a bona-fide center; but to ask Al to play the center position permanently for the next 5 or 6 years and beyond when he isn’t enthused about it is quite another and could be a potential deal breaker. We shall see

vava74

October 3rd, 2010
5:18 pm

5 years 70 million.

More than fair.

Since the new CBA will probably mean that teams will have less money, I don’t think Al will be able to get that type of deal elsewhere.

ILL-Logical

October 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

History appears to be repeating itself here in Atlanta agasin with yet another media/managrment annointed hero being designated in direct contravention of the salient facts.

Need I remind anyone of the immortal “Frenchie Francouer”, the next Chipper Jones or (inspite of today’s win courtesy of Roddie White’s unbelievable hustle which erased Matty Ice’s bonehead throw) the anti-Vick.

All Star Al is being treated as if he is the messiah made flesh and even if his extension doesn’t come at the expense of losing Jamal; his “demand” to play the 4 is being trested as a divine command. And Josh Smith, who is selling more merchendise, has to move again ,for the 4th time in his career to placate the caprice of management’s draft decisions.

What happens to the teaam when ASA doesn’t pan out as the saviour at the 4?

Publix

October 3rd, 2010
5:28 pm

Can’t wait for the season to start. HOW ABOUT THEM FALCONS???? ALL THE WAY BABY!!! (hopefully)

The Hawks do not need to wait to trade JC, just do it now and get whomever you’ll get to be part of camp and get used to the offense.

Send JC to Bobcats and bring back Diaw. He can play various positions and the Bobcats need someone who can run the point. Another reason why it would be good, both of their contracts are expiring at the end of the year. It also gives Charlotte another scorer which they are in need of. It gives us someone who can either come of the bench for Marvin or maybe even start.

lewis

October 3rd, 2010
5:30 pm

I.MUS WRITE

October 3rd, 2010
5:41 pm

Show Al the money!!!

ant banks

October 3rd, 2010
6:00 pm

PUBLIX,

why trade jc1 within’ the division? SEE PHILLY AND THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS. getttin’ diaw for jc1? what will that do after this season?

i_am_soulstar

October 3rd, 2010
6:04 pm

How did Boozer break his hand?

i_am_soulstar

October 3rd, 2010
6:05 pm

Sux for the Bulls

Ramon

October 3rd, 2010
6:06 pm

Horford= 5 Years, $63 million.

Grandad

October 3rd, 2010
6:27 pm

ILL-Logical
Seems to me, not only did Roody White make an unbelievable
hustle play but so did Harvey Dahl to run down and recover
the fumble. *(Two teammates who di not quit on the play)
*Symbolic of a Mike Smith coached team.
As for “Matty Ice” pretty good fortitude to put the interception
behind him and lead the team back down the field again for the win.
I’m sorry I didn’t realize Vick played today?
I thought he was on the Igles as Kincaid calls them.

Bravo Falcons, All = team win!

O'Brien

October 3rd, 2010
6:28 pm

Boozer out 8 weeks is a gift for the Hawks. Hawks were the luckiest team in the NBA last year in terms of injuries, so hopefully we can escape the injury bugs this year.

As for the Jamal situation, he does not have much leverage. However, I hope Rick is open to trade offers (fair trade offers) for him. LD will have enough issues to deal with, and we dont know if Jamal will be a Chemistry problem.

IMO, there is nothing Jamal can do to earn himself an extension with the Hawks unless he is wiling to take a big paycut to stay with a winning team.

Based on JJ’s salary, and Al’s upcoming extension, and the drafting of Jordan Crawford, the Hawks will not give jamal the contract he is looking for.

However, some team out there might pay Jamal more than what the Hawks will, because they could pay Jamal to be a startng SG for a couple years.

Grandad

October 3rd, 2010
6:28 pm

*(di[d] not quit)

Grandad

October 3rd, 2010
6:47 pm

For those who worry about Josh & Al:
Josh is a *[4]!
-&-
Al is a *[4]?
I’ve said this before…please listen;
“both Josh and Al are -basketball players-”!
It don’t matter if they are [3] & [4],
or [4] & [5], or [X] & [Y] for that matter.
Does it really matter if your two best Bigs are playin’ with:
*Zaza @[5] or *Marv @[3].
They’re still your two best options.
Who cares who’s on the floor with them.
Put a trained monkey out there and call him a [5],
they’re still you’re two best Bigs.
I trust LD to figure out the match-ups.

richbrave

October 3rd, 2010
7:59 pm

Enter your comments here

richbrave

October 3rd, 2010
7:59 pm

BOOYAH, the BRAVES squeak into the wild card. GO BRAVES beat the GIANTS

RomeDawg

October 3rd, 2010
8:40 pm

I know that this will not go over well, but what about some package including Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford for some legit size, maybe Al Jefferson or the big man out in Los Angeles. Smith is one heckuva talent but I am not sure he will reach his full potential here. He seems to sulk sometimes. From one of the previous articles on the AJC I viewed, I don’t believe Crawford can put this $ issue behind him. My guess is they both stay and we end up the 5th or 6th seed in the East and make a first round exit. Crawford leaves at years end with nothing else coming back in his place because I don’t believe he fits the Hawks long term plans.

ryan

October 3rd, 2010
8:52 pm

This is going to uglier and uglier if Sund can’t seal the deal on Horford or Jammal Crawford than Sund should be fired .

Publix

October 3rd, 2010
9:32 pm

I am not saying that they HAVE to get Diaw. I just believe that JC1 should go if he is not happy and we can’t offer him the money he will be looking for. In return I would just like to see a good SF coming to us because Marvin is ok for now, but once we play contenders, he is the weakest link.

No, we don’t have a legit center, but neither did Detroit when they won their championship. So whom else on the #3 can we get for JC1????

Some candidates:

Diaw
Prince
Battier
Peja
Salmons
Deng

Out of all of those that we maybe would be able to get (not sure about Salmons), I would take Battier simply because of his defensive skills.

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

I’ve been sayin’ the best the Hawks could hope for against the Bulls is that Boozer is injury prone – now he proves it. That may be recurring over the rest of his career – various injuries. Hope Boozer doesn’t turn into Elton Brand.

I still like Crawford for Lou Williams of the Sixers – I know some other factors would have to be ameliorated so it would work – but Lou is a hometown keeper…

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
9:45 pm

Many have been saying JJ signed the worst contract over the summer – nope – Boozer and Amare are both injury prone, and I think they’ll turn out to be the worst contracts signed. Drew Gooden is close…

ryan

October 3rd, 2010
9:49 pm

Thats what i have been saying about Amare he has a bad eye and bad knees why does Mello whant to go play in New York so bad when they have one of the worst rosters in the NBA .

Sautee

October 3rd, 2010
10:03 pm

Did Taj go over to Boozer’s house and trip him?

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
10:05 pm

Right now, no way we can sign Al and Jamal, it’s just simple math. But what brilliant strategy by Sund:

Drafting Jordan Crawford. If JJ would have walked, you plug Jamal in at SG, and Jordan/Mo’ Evans off the bench.

JJ stayed, now you have a year to develop Jordan behind Jamal.

Pape Sy – he has a year to develop to back up Marvin (probably). Or if he develops at the PG, you can trade Bibby’s expiring next year and let him back up Teague at PG (or start if he’s good enough).

Sund replaces 10.8m and 2.5m in Jamal and Mo’ with about $500,000.00 and 1.2m with Sy and Crawford next season. And the Hawks get younger, more athletic, and more exciting while saving 11.7m – if Crawford and Sy work out. If not, they’re cheap enough experiments to cut your losses and go forward. Sund is amazing working with ASG’s budget restraints.

And instead of Etan, Collins, and Powell next season, I look for maybe a 1st pick and 2 DLeague type guys, saving even more money.

And don’t be surprised to see a Gladyr or another 2nd round type as the 5th G next year, unless Teague/Jordan aren’t working out, then they may burn a 1st at that position. Money is what it is all about – win the most games with the cheapest payroll as possible.

PS – Trey Thompkins from UGA would be a beast in the motion O. 6-10 250 who can pop 3’s and pass.

And 1 last thing to remember – LD only has 2 years guranteed on his contract. He has 2 years to prove himself, so he’s going to be wanting to win big as quickly as possible, to get that extension. He doesn’t have much of cushion here.

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
10:10 pm

We traded Childress for the Trade exception and a 2nd pick. I don’t think the Hawks necessarily wanted a 1st pick – he we traded down 3 picks to save money this year, and sold our 31st pick. I think we wanted a 2nd to save cash – not saying we could have gotten a 1st for Josh Childress anyway.

And please, nobody suggest trading Al or Smoove anymore. We can get legit bigs without sacrificing them. We let Shaq and probably Damp get away already. They’ll be another Anthony Tolliver type come along from DLeague or somewhere that we can snag.

Hmmm

October 3rd, 2010
10:16 pm

It’s Ironic that There is a Picture of AL with Boozer in the background for this blog because news out of Chicago is that he’s out eight weeks with a broken hand….not that it matters. We still would’ve wiped the floor with chicago anyway and had extera incentive b/c the media are idiots and just put like four teams ahead of us for no reason.

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/10/carlos-boozer-fractures-hand/

Hmmm

October 3rd, 2010
10:17 pm

“Boozer suffered the injury on Saturday during the Bulls’ day off. According to team sources, Boozer tripped over a bag in his house and fell.”

LOL

Hmmm

October 3rd, 2010
10:18 pm

His wife probably beat him for cheating or something.

moboman

October 3rd, 2010
10:30 pm

Since Horford will never be enough of what we need at the 5, he needs to prove himself at the 4 before we can afford to drop big $$ on him. Hawks have to decide who their big minute guys are going forward and pull a trade with some excess pieces. Not sure who might go, but we have a logjam at the 4 (and the 2 unless JJ will play the 3). The Hawks are a blockbuster trade from moving to the next level. This problem needs to be reckoned with.

northcyde

October 3rd, 2010
10:56 pm

Grandad . . yes and no @ your 6:47 pm post.

Look at the situation out in Golden St with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Both are guards who are 6-3 and smaller. ( I think Monta is 6-3 and Curry is 6-1 ). Both are guards who are weak defensively but good offensively. But one of the main issues that happened right away, was Monta Ellis complaining that he couldn’t play the 2 alongside Curry.

The issue?

Since Monta is bigger, he’s forced to guard the 2. And with Monta’s body type, the vast majority of 2’s are not only taller, but much bigger and stronger than Monta. This means Monta gets DESTROYED defensively, although he plays passing lanes well enough to rack up steals. But it’s a fool’s gold type defense, much like how Iverson used to be a steals leader, but was a horrible man defender.

This is why Monta, right off the bat, complained during the preseason last year that he and Curry couldn’t play with each other. That backcourt gets destroyed defensively, but Nellie with his system, wasn’t worried about position or matchup. He was simply trying to put his best players on the floor.

Monta was right, and now they have a major issue in Golden St. Do you keep Monta or do you keep Curry? Because while both are good players, you can’t play them on the court at the same time much and expect to win games. Even in the great comeback that the Warriors had against us, it came with Curry leading the way, and Monta on the bench.

The main problem with the Horford issue, is that he keeps talking about WANTING to play the 4, even if he doesn’t mind playing the 5. He doesn’t look at the situation as you look at it, in the sense that it doesn’t matter where he plays. If it didn’t matter to him, he wouldn’t keep talking about playing PF.

Like Big Ray said in some of the previous blogs, if Al is gonna be “BOSS”, he needs to play tougher . . . no matter what position he plays.

People want Jamal to “shut up and play”. Well Mr. Horford may have to do the same. Because when it comes to Dwight Howard, HE’S the one that needs to get the job done. Not rely on Zaza, Etan, and Collins to hack him to death playing center, while Al takes it easy playing PF, and Smoove tries to play SF, just so Al can play PF.

Swatguy

October 3rd, 2010
11:11 pm

Solution: Move Joe to the 3 and trade Marvin for a first (late) . If he does not bring a 1, trade him for a 2 and a cratew of mushrooms. Sign Al and Jamal.

northcyde

October 3rd, 2010
11:21 pm

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Al playing PF at all. I just want him to quit talking about playing it, knowing the situation we have with our big men. He knows that those scrub centers may not help us. So he needs to get into a mindset that he’s going to try to dominate the game on the frontline, regardless of what position he plays.

One thing about it. If our “centers” aren’t effective, we can’t afford to play Al extended minutes at PF. So he might as well get mentally prepared for that possibility.

northcyde

October 3rd, 2010
11:28 pm

Swat . . . now who is going to take Marvin and his 4 years on his contract, with the new CBA coming up? And give us a pick?

Only a high payroll team who sees Marvin as the missing piece, would do that.

SteveW

October 3rd, 2010
11:28 pm

Northcyde – In my high school days I played all 5 positions on the court at one time or other. I was around 6ft. with long arms and could sky all those years ago. Used to jump center some because I was athletic. I said all that to say this, have you ever just had somebody that no matter how technically proficient you were, you just couldn’t guard them? I have. I ran cross country, was smart, a defensive stopper. Did the dirty work, loose balls, put me on thier best player guy. But a couple of guys I just didn’t have the answer for. And I think that is Horford with Dwight, and he knows it. And now Dwight is in his head so to speak. I don’t know the answer, but I know that Horford just can’t handle Dwight right now – end of story.

I think if Al got with a personal trainer and said I need to gain 30lbs of solid muscle this off season regardless of what we have to do – maybe. And I know they’re both listed at 6-10, with Dwight listed as 20lbs heavier. He just looks so much bigger. I’m just trying to be practical and a realist. There are some guys other guys just don’t match up well with, regardless of how hard you play etc. And that is the case with Al and Dwight.

And I also know what Al means about the pounding by bigger guys. It is a grind. I loved when coach allowed me to play C though. I kneed those big guys to death, was quicker than them, would steal entry passes etc. But if you got a real banger, just their natural force, elbows etc. just wore you down. Bruised bad the next day. I can’t imagine at Al’s level.

BTW – usually played 3/2 – worst position was PG. Great shooter, very good passer, not a good ball handler full court, only driving.